I remember the day after I met Anthony, I called my sister and told her that I loved him. Not in the ‘I just met my soul mate’ kind of way, but in the ‘I can wear some pretty outrageous heels with this guy and not look like an amazon’ kind of way. Cha ching! So long before I could ever get myself back in touch with reality, I had agreed to take time off from work, emptied out my 401k that I hadn’t touched in 5 years, and packed up my BMW for a quick jaunt down the East Coast for a tryout in Florida with my brand new, shiny man. Oh yeah.
This was pretty exciting stuff for me at the time. I’d never been to a professional baseball tryout before or taken a road trip like this, and I was just happy I had a boyfriend who was willing to actually get out and do some stuff with me for a change…or wait, was I willing to do this with him? Or, for him? No matter. I pumped in the Dunkin Donuts coffee, and we were off! We packed some Mama D egg salad in a cooler for sandwiches and lived on those for two days. Man, this was the life. Wait, what?
We got to Florida a day or two before the actual tryout so we needed to get some hits in to warm up, since Anthony hadn’t seen a live pitch all winter. Well guess who got to chuck some pitches at the boy? That’s right, yours truly. Considering I closed my eyes and ducked behind the L-screen for every pitch, it’s a miracle any of them crossed the plate at all. A couple of days of this, and shagging balls in the outfield, and we were ready for the big day (no thanks to my legit prep work).
We had to show up at the ass crack of dawn to register and wouldn’t it be in typical Angela and Anthony fashion that something would go wrong before the coffee even hit my bloodstream. For whatever reason, Anthony’s name wasn’t on the list so we had to jimmy-rig a t-shirt with a number etched on it in our finest Sharpie. Meh, who cares – he still looked good to me. We weren’t overly concerned anyway. Anthony had already made a name for himself and one of the coaches was sure he’d get on a team regardless of the tryout outcome. Day one I did my due diligence – sitting there, tanning – and day two I was like, “Uh, hey I’m going to take a quick drive (to the Saks I saw just down the street).” Let’s not so soon forget I had emptied out my 401K account folks.
When I got back, players who made the cut were being announced and assigned to teams. I sat with Anthony and as I watched guys erupt into celebration, my reality started to set in. If he makes a team, he’s outta here. This seemed really glamorous before it was all actually a possibility, but now? Not so much. And then it happened. “Anthony D’Alfonso, Calgary Vipers!” What the eff! Calgary?! No one said other countries were an option. I didn’t even have a damn passport! Either way, I clapped and then when we got in the car I cried. (Told you, Tom Hanks). Anthony was happy though and couldn’t be bothered with my selfish sob-sesh, and he got to calling the coach the very next morning. Well, within less than 24 hours of making the team, he was off the team. No one really knows what happened. Someone else got brought down; a mistake was made. Either way it was another disheartening set back for my love.
We drove back to Maine a few days later, sans egg salad, with our first baseball experience as a couple in the books. Surprisingly, Anthony didn’t seem phased. He kept saying that if it was meant to be, it would have happened, and he was focused on whatever was next. Personally, I thought the whole process was a joke and I wanted to call the moron who assigned him to the fake spot on the roster, but Anthony remained more grounded than me. I now know, four years later, that that was mainly attributed to his sheer distaste for confrontation and probably his innate ability to always remain positive. I know, for those of you who know me, I’m laughing too. Opposites attract, ya heard??! Anyway, I was secretly happy to keep him around for a bit longer. But then, his mom pulled out the big guns and fired up the RV – later on to be known as…home. (Enter wide-eyed emoji face here).